Sunday, October 12, 2008

Valium 08

So back in late December I started to get interested in Obama particularly do to Andrew Sullivan's article: Goodbye to All That

Well Sullivan has another extend piece on him that is worth reading.

Here are the highlights:

Obama rarely directly attacks. He subtly baits. His most brilliant rope-a-dope of the entire campaign was against Bill Clinton in the spring. In a newspaper interview, Obama cited Ronald Reagan as the last transformational president. He didn’t mention Clinton. The former president was offended by being implicitly dissed, took the bait and unleashed a series of unwise public scoffs at the young Democrat, culminating in a dismissal of Obama as another Jesse Jackson. Suddenly, black Democrats abandoned Clinton’s wife, and the Clintons’ base collapsed. Obama merely stepped out of the way as the Clintons self-destructed. He didn’t just end their campaign; he helped to bury their reputation.

And that’s exactly how Obama has handled McCain. Instead of attacking him frontally, he got in his head and provoked him into error. It’s easier with McCain than with the Clintons, because McCain is more volatile and more easily provoked. And so Obama cruised through August, picking a conventional running mate and punching his foreign-policy-credentials card with trips to Iraq and Europe. McCain’s response? He put out an ad equating the son of a poor single mother who made it to become president of the Harvard Law Review, a University of Chicago professor and the first black nominee for president with . . . Paris Hilton, whose only accomplishments are being born into immense wealth and making an internet porn tape.

When that didn’t work, and an unfazed Obama ran a flawless convention, calmed the Clintons and delivered one of the best acceptance speeches in modern times, McCain blew himself up with the Palin pick. His one sure-fire advantage – experience – was thrown away. His real base – independent voters and the media – was first wowed and then woke up. And as Palin became a national and international joke, as her ratings plummeted and as she lost her debate to Joe Biden (quite hard to do, given Biden’s capacity for verbal diarrhoea), McCain got even crankier and more unstable.

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